Death, Taxes, Now This

Gorkin wins yet another East Coast comp at Wrightsville's Reef/Sweetwater Pro

By Matt Walker

Three things you can count on in an East Coast summer: flat spells. Tourists. And Aaron Cormican winning at least one pro event.

Actually, over the past five years, Gorkin's taken nearly every East Coast money comp no matter the season, from the Belmar Pro to Smyrna's 'Before the Fall.' The few he hasn't won, he's at least made the final (think Sebastian Inlet and Unsound Pros.) And every missed opportunity he somehow makes up in repeats — sometimes three peats (ECSC champ 2006, 2007 and 2008).

Poor fella: he's only won Wrightsville Beach's Reef Sweetwater Pro/Am twice — last time was 2006; he also made the final last year — taking $5000 from a field that included everyone from Hawaii's Dylan Goodale to California's Mike Losness to Florida's Asher Nolan to hometown boy Ben Bourgeois. Of course, with the conditions hitting shin-high by Sunday it was more grovel than gouge, but as he says: "Someone has to win. That's my motto." As we head toward the string of fall comps, we checked in to see if East Coast competitors should save a stamp and send entry fees straight to Smyrna.

When'd you get home?
Just got back today. Had a good time a time the night before, so the drive was a long one.

How many East Coast pro wins does this make for you total?
I don't really know. It was a little slow the last year. My first win — the one that got me rolling — was the Smith High Roller in November. That's when I started feeling good again surfing heats. Had the carefree thing going again. Before I was kind of stressing myself out. But I'm feeling comfortable now. I got second in Sebastian in January. Then won the Land Shark Pro in April. And I got my first win in Cali, I did this K-5 contest that was pretty fun. I've been on a lucky streak. Keep waiting for it to end — not waiting — but it's kind of surreal sometimes.

You and Jeremy [Johnston] seem to come up against each other a lot.
That's the second time in Wrightsville. Pretty stoked. Last year he won and I got third. It seems like we always have good battle. We talked about that: we always want to go out and murder each other in a heat. But, when they announced who won, he was more excited than me – because it was so tough, we really didn't know. So we went and had a drink between the finals and awards. Sometimes we get along, sometimes we butt heads — we're like brothers. That's the best way to explain it: we're like brothers.

Obviously summer conditions aren't always the best. Do you feel like you actually do better when the waves get worse?
I'm not a big guy that's for sure, so that definitely helps. And, also, I'm in tune with boards for those conditions. If it's small for a contest, I always have a couple good boards I can pull. But it is tough. You invest this money to go and do these things. It get stressful when you see a bad forecast. It's like rolling the dice.

Still, it's not like you just do well in small contests and tiny waves. You've got a solid record Sebastian, which has seen good years in terms of waves and talent.
I think when I surf on the East Coast I just feel really comfortable. And the contests over here, the crowds get you amped. It's a performance thing. I want to make sure I put on a good performance for people, too. Contests get boring some time. So I try to make it exciting.

So what about the rest of summer? Have you already entered all the events?
Actually, I'm taking off on a little surf trip with a buddy and his family. A little vacation. I probably won't focus too hard on any of the other ones. I might do a couple little ones. The Tommy Tant they do every year around here, which is all family and friends and that's cool. I might do ECSC because …Lost has some stuff going no there. But I had more fun chasing hurricanes last year, so I may just work on getting shots.

You just boosted entries from Belmar on.
[laughs] Well, I showed up in Wrightsville on three days notice. Just decided to drive up. So don't take my word for it.


1. Aaron Cormican-FL $5000 (2nd Time Winning this Event)
2. Dylan Goodale-HI $2500
3. Matt Keenan-NJ $2000
4. Jeremy Johnston-FL $1500 (2008 Champ)

Guys 14-Under

1. Cam Richards-SC
2. Noah Schweizer-FL
3. Weston Williams-NC
4. Dylan Mincher-NC

Guys 15-Over

1. Rob Kelly-NJ
2. Hunter Heverly-NC
3. Cody Leutgens-NC
4. Mason Barnes-NC

Guys Open Longboard

1. Tony Silvagni-NC
2. Ty Roach-NC
3. Weston Williams-NC
4. Brad Rose-NC

Girls 17-Under

1. Haley Watson-FL
2. Chandler Von Cannon-NC
3. Jassett Umbel-FL
4. Kate Easton-FL

Girls 18-Over

1. Jasset Umbel-FL
2. Haley Watson-FL
3. Maria Kuzmovich-FL
4. Darsha Pigford-NC

Girls Open Longboard

1. Kate Easton-FL
2. Kaleigh Winslow-NC
3. Kristen Kornegay-NC
4. Jo Pickett-NC